Why You Need to Feel OK Before You Can Experience the Extraordinary

Craig Stanland
3 min readMar 25, 2022

Sometimes OK is enough.

In fact, OK is one of the most powerful places you can be.

I used to think I wanted to feel extraordinary all the time — particularly as I’m pursuing my dreams and my passions.

I’m doing what I love, I should feel extraordinary. I should be lit up. I should be overwhelmed with joy.

We’re told pursuing our passion is this fantastic and incredible journey.

That it’s a path with unicorns drinking out of rainbow streams and your favorite music playing in the background.

Then why, when I was preparing for my TEDx and when I was writing my memoir, did I feel sheer absolute terror?

Because I was sharing a part of myself that a huge part of me would have preferred I kept in the closet. Because creating the extraordinary is a leap of faith.

We don’t know what’s going to happen, we only know how we feel in that moment before the leap.

In my case, shame and fear were ganging up on me, both doing their worst.

When we pursue our passions and what’s truly important to us, we’re going to experience a range of negative emotions, including fear and shame.

What if this thing fails, flops? What if I’m judged poorly?

We don’t even want to feel extraordinary at that point, we just want to manage the emotions we’re experiencing — the emotions that can often feel overwhelming and paralyze us from taking the next step.

We manage those emotions by trusting ourselves. Fully, deeply and implicitly.

When we trust ourselves, we still experience the roller coaster of negative emotions, but we know that we can experience them — and we will be OK.

This is why OK is so powerful.

Think about when you’re consumed with fear, doubt, shame, embarrassment. Do you want to feel amazing? Or would you prefer to feel OK?

OK is enough.

OK puts us back to neutral, and neutral is a powerful place to live because we’re no longer consumed. It’s from this place that we can step back, we can breathe, we can…

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Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.